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A step closer to endorsement? Palace confirms Duterte meeting with Marcos

Kristine Joy Patag - Philstar.com
A step closer to endorsement? Palace confirms Duterte meeting with Marcos
This March 23, 2022 photo shows presidential aspirant Bongbong Marcos stands before voters from Quezon province where he lost to Vice President Leni Robredo in the 2016 Elections
Philstar.com / Efigenio Toledo IV

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte recently met with survey frontrunner Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., the Palace and the latter’s team confirmed, but their statements were silent on whether an endorsement was made or is forthcoming.

"It was a cordial and productive meeting, where the President shared his experiences and insight as an outgoing chief executive with the presidential aspirant," Acting Presidential Spokesperson Martin Andanar added.

He also said they discussed Duterte’s achievements in his term and that the president gave Marcos advice.

"In connection with this, the president expressed optimism that his administration’s notable programs and projects will be continued by the next administration," Andanar added.

The communications secretary did not give any more details on the meeting between them.

Marcos’ spokesperson, Vic Rodriguez, only had this to say about the meeting: "The BBM camp affirms the confirmation of PCOO chief and presidential spokesman Martin Andanar that President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has recently met with presidential frontrunner Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos, Jr."

Marcos, who admitted to courting Duterte’s endorsement for his campaign and earlier this week, secured the backing of a wing of the ruling PDP-Laban Party, where Duterte sits as chairperson.

But Andanar’s statement confirming the meeting did not discuss whether Marcos finally secured Duterte’s endorsement.

Marcos and Duterte

Marcos in a recent interview said he identifies himself as an administration ally — although at some point, when Sen. "Christopher" Bong Go was still in the presidential derby, Rodriguez said this was then inaccurate — and had promised to continue the administration’s programs like the Build, Build, Build.

Marcos also admitted to picking Duterte as his running-mate but was surprised when he filed for senator. In the end, he has presidential daughter and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte as his tandem.

Last year, Duterte also said he never mentioned he would support Marcos, claiming without giving evidence that the former senator is "pro-communist." Duterte also made a blind item of a presidential candidate who is a cocaine user, but Marcos felt he did not allude to.

NUP endorsement

Also on Thursday, Marcos bagged an endorsement from yet another political party.

State-run PTV4 reported that National Unity Party Deputy Secretary General and spokesperson Reggie Velasco said their party decided to endorse Marcos’ presidential bid.

Velasco said Marcos’ “call for unity as the basic strategy for economic recovery amidst the continuing COVID-19 pandemic and global uncertainties is consistent and supportive of the NUP’s primary vision of ‘one nation, one future’ as enshrined in the Party’s constitution.”

In 2018, the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported that NUP inked an alliance with PDP-Laban.

Other parties backed by power political families that have thrown support at Marcos’ bid are former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s  Lakas – Christian Muslim Democrats, Duterte-Carpio’s Hugpong ng Pagbabago, former President Joseph Estrada's Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino and the Marcos-led Partido Federal ng Pilipinas

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